New Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General expresses strong hope for durable peace in South Sudan
Juba, 25 April 2021: The United Nations is strongly committed to working with the people and leaders of South Sudan to secure stability and eventual prosperity for the world’s newest nation, said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Nicholas Haysom, on his arrival in the country.
“South Sudan is entering a new phase and people’s expectations are high. There is real hope for progress in the implementation of the peace agreement and, ultimately, achieving a more durable peace,” said Mr Haysom. “As partners in that process, the UN will continue to work with South Sudanese as well as regional and international partners to provide stability and, ultimately, secure prosperity for all citizens.”
Nicholas Haysom arrived in Juba today to take up his role as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). After completing mandatory quarantine in compliance with local COVID-19 protocols, he will begin a busy schedule of meetings with South Sudan’s leaders, the diplomatic community, and other key stakeholders in the peace process.
As an international lawyer with expertise in reconciliation and peace processes, democratic governance, and constitutional and electoral reform, Mr Haysom has a long history of supporting South Sudan, including assisting the negotiation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
“It is a privilege to continue my relationship with South Sudan by serving in this new role, leading UNMISS in its peacekeeping and peacebuilding work,” he said. “Our priority is to support all efforts to push the peace process forward with a focus on key areas such as constitution-making, security, justice and economic reforms, and assisting preparations for elections.”
UNMISS will also continue to search for new ways to magnify the impact of its own activities and improve its performance in carrying out its mandated work to protect civilians and build peace, said Nicholas Haysom.
“I am very much looking forward to serving and supporting the people of this country so that they can enjoy the much brighter future that they deserve.”
Note to Editors: In January 2021, UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Nicholas Haysom of South Africa as his Special Representative for South Sudan and Head of UNMISS. From 2019 to 2020, Nicholas Haysom served as the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Sudan. From 2018 to 2019, he was the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission to Somalia (UNSOM). He also served as Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) from 2014 to 2016, and as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan from 2012 to 2014. From 2007 to 2012, he served as Director for Political, Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Affairs in the Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General, and from 2005 to 2007, as Head of the Office of Constitutional Support for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq.
From 2002 to 2005, Nicholas Haysom was the principal adviser to the Mediator in the Sudanese Peace Process. He was involved in the Burundi Peace Talks as Chair of the committee negotiating constitutional issues from 1999 to 2002 under the facilitation of late former President Nelson Mandela, and served in the Government of South Africa, including as Chief Legal and Constitutional Adviser in the Office of the President from 1994 to 1999.
Haysom earned a degree in law from the Universities of Natal and Cape Town in South Africa. He also received honorary doctorates from the University of Cape Town and New York Law School.